Herb and Olive-Oil-Poached Squid Salad

With Chorizo, Cannellini Beans, Arame, Sugar Snaps and Baby Potatoes

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Preparation info

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By Peter Gordon

Published 2005

  • About

Squid and chorizo is a combination I’ve written about before in another book and one I just adore. The rich oiliness of the chorizo, highlighted with the spicy notes of pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika), goes so well with the almost blandness of the squid. There are basically two types of chorizo: those intended to be cooked and those to be served thinly sliced as you would a salami. For this recipe, you want the former. From this you’ll need to choose from spicy (picante) or less spicy and a little sweet (dulce).

Arame is a type of black seaweed from Japan, usually bought dried, that is easy to use and available from health food shops and Japanese food stores. You can substitute hijiki or other dried or fresh seaweeds.

For this recipe, I’ve used canned cannellini beans. If you want to cook them from scratch, simply pod them and cook in lots of boiling water, adding salt just before they become al dente. This salad can be served both hot and cold.


  • small handful of dried arame (see above)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 600 g medium-sized squid (heads 12–15 cm long), cleaned (see left)
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced into rings
  • 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves, halved
  • 10 garlic cloves, sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 400 g tin of cannellini beans, drained
  • 300 g cooking chorizo sausages (see above), sliced at an angle 5 mm thick
  • large handful of sugar snap peas, blanched and refreshed in iced water
  • 300 g baby potatoes or a variety like Anya, Pink Fir or La Ratte, cooked and drained
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley


Place the arame and soy sauce in a small heatproof bowl, barely cover with boiling water from the kettle and leave to rehydrate, around 30 minutes.

To clean the squid you can do one of two things: the easiest is to get your fishmonger to clean it; otherwise, you’ll need to do it yourself – which is actually quite a nice tactile job. Pull the tentacles and guts from the hood-shaped head in one piece. You’ll notice the eyes on this – cut the tentacles from just below them. Pull the tentacles apart, removing the beak at the same time. (The beak is located in the centre of the tentacles – just squeeze it out and discard.) Put the tentacles in one bowl. Peel the thin membrane from the outside of the head and pull the fins off, then peel these as well. Insert a sharp knife into the head and slice it open – to give you a large triangular flap. Cut this into thin strips like spaghetti. Slice the fins the same size and put in another bowl.

Sauté half the onion rings in a large pot with all but 2 tablespoons of the oil and, when they wilt, add the chilli, herbs and half the garlic. Continue cooking over a moderate-to-high heat, stirring frequently, until the garlic colours.

At the same time, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil and drop in the squid tentacles. Count to 10, then add the sliced head and fins. Give it a stir, count to 5 and then drain through a colander.

Add the squid to the onions and increase heat to moderate. Cook for a minute, stirring frequently. Season and mix in half the lemon juice. Take off the heat.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to a hot pan and caramelize the remaining onion and garlic in it. Add the drained cannellini beans and ½ cup of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then put to one side.

Grill or fry the chorizo, without oil, for a minute or so on both sides – it’ll char slightly, but this isn’t a bad thing. Keep warm while you finish the salad. Slice the sugar snaps at an angle and cut the potatoes in half if large.

To Serve

Mix the beans with the parsley and potatoes, and divide between 4 plates, then lay the chorizo on top. Toss the squid with the drained arame, sugar snaps and reserved lemon juice, and divide this among the plates.